Alberta’s economy moves forward and design funding for Sherwood Heights replacement announced

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Alberta’s economic recovery is progressing. This means more investment and good jobs for residents of Sherwood Park.

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February marked the fourth consecutive month of job creation in our province. The increase of 8,200 jobs in February brought our unemployment rate down to 6.8%, the lowest rate we have seen since September 2019.

Recovery is in the air. Everywhere you look, business is picking up in Sherwood Park. The restaurants are lively. Hotels are filling up. And employers are hiring. After two difficult years, we are starting to feel this recovery at home.

As our economy in Sherwood Park begins to boom, I have heard many businesses express concern about their ability to fill positions. This is a very valid concern and our united Conservative government is working to get things done.

Earlier in our mandate, we passed Bill 49, Labor Mobility Act, to address looming labor shortages by streamlining a consistent and transparent approach to recognizing the skills, education and credentials of out-of-province workers. We also recently announced the launch of the Rural Renewal Stream and the Rural Entrepreneur Stream. These pathways will encourage skilled and talented professionals and entrepreneurs from around the world to settle in communities like Sherwood Park.

The balanced budget presented last month laid the foundation for a strong economic recovery, and Sherwood Park is already benefiting from it. I am proud to announce that Budget 2022 contains funding for the design of a new state-of-the-art school in Sherwood Park that will eventually replace Sherwood Heights Junior High and Campbelltown School. I love and support public education.

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While investments like these would not be possible without our strong economic recovery, I want to extend my sincere thanks to parent groups, the administrators of the Elk Island Public School Board, especially Board Chair Trina Boymook, and the many principals and teachers, etc. ., for all their efforts to obtain this new school funding. All of these people have a passion for our community and our families, and their efforts helped make this announcement a reality.

Although our economy is improving, I have heard some families in our area are concerned about rising energy costs this winter due in part to market conditions, the federal carbon tax ( which is expected to increase further on April 1) and the long-term impacts of the NDP’s short-sighted policies. Until these costs go down, I want to take this moment to tell you what our government is doing to fix this problem for you.

The Government of Alberta will provide $150 in electricity rebates to nearly two million homes, farms and businesses to help retroactively cover the high costs they faced this winter. The exact rebate criteria will be determined soon, but should include most households, farms and small businesses. The Alberta government will also stop collecting the provincial fuel tax of 13.6 cents per liter effective April 1. This will apply to all gasoline and diesel, including marked agricultural fuel.

I would like to thank all residents of Sherwood Park for their hard work and perseverance over the past two years. We have so much to look forward to. Truly, our best days are just ahead.

Jordan Walker is a Member of Legislative Assembly for Sherwood Park Constituency. If you have any questions or comments about this column or any other provincial topic, he would love to hear from you. Please contact the MLA Walker Constituency Office at 780-417-4747 or email [email protected].

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